Friday night, the Uppity Book Women came over for a discussion of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. It's a wonderful book, set in the Dominican Republic, about sisters who were part of the resistance movement against Trujillo. J was very late getting home from work, so the food was very late getting ready (I was missing my fry cook!), but everyone was laughing & talking & it was just fine anyway. I made masitas (Cuban fried pork chunks), pastelitos, maduros, black beans & rice, and bread stuffed with avocado & prosciutto. I picked up some exotic drinks like mango juice & coconut water, as well as making lemonade & mojitos. It was Luanne's birthday, so I got a chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing for her & we all sang happy birthday. Beth was very upset by the book. She felt frustrated that those women fought & sacrificed for nothing more than the children & grandchildren having fancy houses in the mountains. Not all of us felt like that, though. I think she gets a whole lot of negative energy working at the base like she does. It must be really hard. To me, it seems as though they actually won a great victory. Sure, life in the DR isn't perfect now, but where is it? I would never say that Dr. King's sacrifice was for nothing. Also in attendance were Laura, Kat, & Lilith. Laura & Brendan are in vacation in Canada as of yesterday, staying at a b&b that provides a massage every day & sea kayaking lessons. I am so jealous! Lilith's birthday is Wednesday & she is planning a party for next weekend, so we're looking forward to that.
Saturday morning, we arose bright & early to pick the boys up from camp. Pie managed to get a bad case of poison ivy because he wasn't willing to listen to the counselors when they told him to wear long pants on a particular hike. Ah, well, lots of oatmeal baths & anti-itch gel will keep him sane until it's run its course. He was a little pouty because he got picked on by some mean kids during the week. He is so quiet & so much like me a lot of the time that this doesn't surprise me. I wish that kind of crap would get bred out of kids, though. I felt bad for him because I have been there. But, I also know that I did have enough fun at camp that I wanted to go back. So did he, thank god. He loved swimming & archery the best. Oh, and cage ball. So did Boot. Both of them did arts & crafts, too. They painted plaster masks & made gourd birdhouses. Boot has decided that when he is older, he wants to be part of the summer staff, be a lifeguard & teach archery there. I am so happy that he feels that way.
The kids just wanted to flop. J tried to talk them into swimming or going to the Batman movie or even renting videos, but they simply wanted to head home. We did stop for a mediocre lunch at O'Charley's, but then we did flop at home. J dozed on the couch while I read & worked on Rachael's birthday gift. I hope she'll like it. Her birthday is today & I need to call her. We ordered pizza & subs for dinner, so it was truly a lazy, laid-back day. J wanted to talk the kids into going to Coldstone Creamery, but had no luck at all. Imagine, kids refusing offers like that!
Sunday, we went to Sunday school & church. In Sunday school, we talked about the difference in the liberal/conservative spectrum between clergy & congregations (congregations tending to be more conservative). The sermon was about Abraham & Isaac on the mountain. After church, Pie informed us that he thinks that God put the ram in the bush for Abraham to sacrifice. He is so sweet. He also drew a picture about everyone being at peace & having no more war, illness, or pain. It was lovely & he even drew in an alien as part of the everyone. Beth was missing an usher, so I filled in. We had a very quick coffee hour so that we could get down to Cincinnati & back. My grands told me they're leaving for Vermont on Wednesday morning. I had planned on making them dinner on Thursday, but I guess we'll have to wait until after their trip. They haven't decided when they're coming back yet. I hope they have a wonderful time & uneventful travel.
We stopped at Uno's for pizza on the way down to visit J's mom. Her aunt Joy was there & her dad came over when we called him. He & I ended up arguing politics. He thinks my liberal views are just dumb. I am not willing to just keep my mouth shut, although that would probably be the prudent thing to do. He told me that I'd probably be happy if Mao Tse Tung was resurrected, then I could have my ideal. But, I am aware that he is a sad, ill old man & I feel more sorry for him than anything. And, frankly, his opinion on Howard Dean doesn't challenge me a bit. although Dean is probably a bit conservative for my taste. I like Kucinich, of all the 2004 candidates, the best.
After our visit, we went to the first movie night at church. J & I took a blanket & pillows to relax on. I think getting the LCD projector was such a good idea (yay, Brendan!) & the turn-out for the first movie night was good, especially considering it's summer. We showed The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe & about 25 people showed up. Success, sweet success! We hung around afterward to help clean up, then came home & had picadillo scrambled eggs for dinner before heading to bed.